Issue: November 2017
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Injecting Risk Into Steroid Use and Administration

Introduction

Steroid Risks and Liabilities

Steroids are used to treat patients for a variety of complaints. Different risks and potential side effects are associated with the different types of steroids and forms of administration.

 

Problems related to the use or administration of steroids can lead to litigation, which can result in high verdicts or settlements, including a $10.5 million class action and $210 million settlement for injury from contaminated steroids, a nine-year prison sentence for the actions of a pharmacy co-founder in connection with a meningitis outbreak from tainted steroids, and $3 million to a patient who was negligently treated with steroids, rather than antibiotics, for a sinus infection.

 

Attorneys, physicians, insurers, employers, and other potential parties to litigation need to understand the types of lawsuits and other liability issues that may arise in connection with the use or administration of steroids.


The Perspectives: Improve Your Strategy

Attorneys:

What proof is needed for a lack of informed consent claim, alone or as part of a medical malpractice or negligence action, related to a steroid injection? And, what is a potential strategy for the attorney to employ?

Physicians:

How can liability for medical malpractice be avoided for an injury related to a steroid injection? And, what is a potential strategy for the physician to employ?

Insurers:

Can a payout under a medical malpractice liability policy for injuries related to steroid injections be avoided by proof that the health provider was not negligent or there was no coverage for the insured provider’s actions? And, what is a potential strategy for the insurer to employ?

Employers:

Can an employer be subject to liability for injuries related to steroid injections? And, what is a potential strategy for the employer to use?


Practice the Technique: Checklists

Attorneys:

Check this list of facts and circumstances tending to show a provider’s liability for malpractice or negligence involving steroids.

Physicians:

Presented is a checklist of items a physician must consider when defending against claims of malpractice or negligence involving steroids.

Insurers:

The insurer should check these “red flags” and inconsistencies when investigating a claim of malpractice or negligence involving steroids.

Employers:

Use this checklist to determine if the employee’s injury involving steroids is “work related” and occurred “in the course of the employment.”

Expert Analysis

What Testing Is Used to Prevent Anabolic Steroid Abuse?

Matthew N. Fedoruk, PhD

How Does "Muscle Drug" Litigation Differ from Recreational Drug Cases?

Rick Collins, JD

Litigation

Alternative Dispute Resolution

Arbitration or mediation may be required by contract or statute, may be mandated by the court or, in some circumstances, may be the appropriate method for a negotiated resolution.


Reasons to Reach Settlement

The following are reasons why the attorney, physician, insurer, or employer would want to reach settlement, and not take the action to trial.


Reasons to Go to Trial

The following are reasons why the attorney, physician, insurer, or employer would want to take the action to trial.


Jury Awards and Settlements

How much have juries awarded and what settlements have been reached recently in cases involving steroid injections?



Medical Examples

Steroids

This section provides detailed medical information on steroids, including anabolic, corticosteroids, and “designer steroids”; the requirement of a prescription for anabolic steroids; contraindications to oral anabolic steroids; treatment using anabolic and corticosteroids; the administration of the steroid, either oral or by injection; dosages; adverse reactions to steroid use; side effects of anabolic steroid use; patient testing during anabolic steroid use; anabolic steroid use by teens; discontinuance of steroid treatment; and preventing anabolic steroid abuse. Also mentioned is the steroid user’s ability to work.



Law and Medicine Resources

Law and Medicine Resources

Provided is a listing of law and medical resources for further information on steroids.


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Injecting Risk Into Steroid Use and Administration

Table of Contents
Introduction

Expert Analysis
   Matthew N. Fedoruk, PhD
   Rick Collins, JD

The Perspectives: Improve Your Strategy
   Attorneys
   Physicians and Health Providers
   Insurers
   Employers and Risk Managers

Practice the Technique: Checklists
   Attorney Checklist
   Physician Checklist
   Insurer Checklist
   Employer Checklist

Alternative Dispute Resolution

Reasons to Reach Settlement

Reasons to Go to Trial

Jury Awards and Settlements

Steroids

Law and Medicine Resources